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Old 22-08-2017, 02:25   #1
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Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

I will be having my 46-foot boat hauled out for quite a lot of work, including a list of welding jobs. Can anyone recommend a location (marina/port) in the Pacific Northwest where I'm likely to find all trades, and easy access to parts and materials, near or at the marina? It's vital that I have access to a good aluminum welder. The boat is in BC but of course I can easily go to Washington state.

Maybe I should point out that there's nothing wrong with my boat, but rather that I plan to do lots of upgrades. The welding work is to add stuff on my wish list, not to do any repairs.

If anyone knows about the differences in prices for parts and materials in BC vs. Washington state, please advise. I have found BC to be very pricey, but maybe that's my age (everything seems more expensive the older I get).

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 22-08-2017, 09:43   #2
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

I have been happy with the port of Astoria boat yard.
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Old 22-08-2017, 09:57   #3
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

We've used Canal boatyard twice in Seattle. We do much of our own work alongside their staff. Great service.
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Old 23-08-2017, 07:32   #4
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
We've used Canal boatyard twice in Seattle. We do much of our own work alongside their staff. Great service.

Canal is Seattles last DIY focused yard. They have no staff other than the lift operators. You refer to the businesses which are run at Canal, which include Pacific Fiberglass, where I spent over a decade as crew lead, and Coastal Marine Engines. Used to be others as well, but now down to a few. I was a member of the shipwrights co op there way back when as well. If you call Ivaylo at the front desk to ask these questions, he will refer you to Robert at Pac Fiberglass or even S3. Skip the middle man if you intend to go there.
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Old 23-08-2017, 08:11   #5
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

Your best choice would be Newcastle Boatyard in Nanaimo. Super helpful people in the yard and office, great rates, and with the Canadian dollar as it is, definitely a no-brainer when compared to U.S. boatyards. Plus, you can do as much of your own work as needed, parts and materials are abundant in the city, and trades people are too. It is a great place for a haul out. 😊
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Old 23-08-2017, 08:25   #6
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

I was very happy with my experience at Seaview North in Bellingham.

Their employees are good, you can do your own work on the boat at the same time (you do what you can, hire them to do what you can't), B'ham has access to just about any trade you might need, and you can stay on your boat if you want.

There's also Colony Wharf which is more of a DIY yard, although they will (for a fee, sometimes a big fee) coordinate with subs to do work for you.

One caveat for both of these yards, if you're going to go try to arrange it so you have a car, the waterfront in Bellingham isn't exactly "right in town" like some places like Anacortes... most restaurants and all provisioning is a bit of way up into town, as is West Marine (although we prefer LFS which is right there anyway).

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Old 23-08-2017, 09:13   #7
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

Race Rock Yacht Services in West Vancouver is good. So is Shelter Island Marina in Richmond (suburb of Vancouver, on the Fraser River.

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Old 23-08-2017, 09:43   #8
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

I can recommend a very few good contractors and two excellent sailmakers (Carol Haase and Jim Kitchen at Doyle Sails). Most good contractors and yard people are already booked up and they are in high demand. Many of the available people were either inexperienced or had unhealthy lifestyles that made them undependable.
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Old 23-08-2017, 09:44   #9
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

A buddy of mine
Leaves his Hatteras up in Port Hardy for the winter when he needs anything major done .The are not busy in the yards at that time of the year and he tells me the cost are very reasonable I think any yard away farther up north would be slow because the fishing boats are laid up .
Our boat is a little bigger and we use Arrow Marine Services
They can do anything About Us - Arrow Marine

One thing about any yard is make sure you tell them you don't want any grinding work done close to your boat.
Once i remember they were grinding some plating on a fish boat next to us and didn't think much about it Anyways 2 weeks later i noticed rust marks in the hull get down close to them they were steel shavings that were imbedded into the gel coat
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Old 23-08-2017, 10:10   #10
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

Although I have used Colony Wharf for decades with no problem and access to good services you might look at Sidney. Have sent boats there for repair with good results. You might find it less expensive than US.
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Old 23-08-2017, 10:30   #11
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

I have had better luck in BC over WA. Less expensive, better trained technicians. I can't remember the names of the shops but overall better and friendlier. I will be taking my boat back to Sidney this fall for a bottom job.
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Old 23-08-2017, 11:24   #12
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

One Port that has accumulated a name for having master craftsmen in all boating related trades is Port Townsend, WA. I am not sure how their prices compare but they definitely have all the boat upgrading skills covered there.
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Old 23-08-2017, 17:27   #13
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

Jack's Boat Yard in Lund. It's somewhat funky but the family that runs it is incredible and can get just about anything done. They can get parts from Vancouver next day (if they don't have them or can't be found in Powell River).

I'd vouch for Jordan Hamilton (AC/DC Welding) any day. He's done great work in both steel and aluminum (I have a steel boat with aluminum superstructure - which he built).

There's also a superb machinist that can handle SS as well as steel, aluminum, etc.

Generally people live up here for the lifestyle, not to rip people off. They're good and they're reasonable.

Give Gerry a call at Jack's to fill in the details. And come up for the pig roast this Saturday (all welcome) to check the place out. Tell them Bill on Scorpius referred you.
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Old 23-08-2017, 17:38   #14
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-Op

3109 Jefferson St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
(360) 385-6138
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Old 23-08-2017, 23:35   #15
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Re: Best maintenance spot in Pacific Northwest

I just had maintenance work/bottom paint, new windlass installation, etc. at Stone's Yard in Nanaimo--talk to Nick Webster and tell him the lady with the C&C 40 recommended his yard.
His number at the yard -- 250-716-9065
He is a lifelong sailor, so is Ian the Co-owner of Stone's Boatyard.
I also had new motor mounts installed and my Yanmar has never been smoother.
They really know what they are doing.

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